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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Wabaunsee County

1878

Map of Wabaunsee County - 1878

First settlements: Alma township, 1856, by Henry Terrass, Palenske and others; Washington township, 1857, Maxbrink & Durfee; Mill Creek township, fall of 1858; Rock Creek, 1860, not known by whom - William Exon settled in 1861; Wilmington township, 1854, Henry Harvey; Farmer township, 1854, John P. Gleich, Joseph and Peter Thoes; Wabaunsee township, August, 1854, Peter Shain; Maple Hill township, 1868, Henry Frombach. - First church buildings: Alma township, 1877, Catholic; Newbury township, 1873, Catholic; Wabaunsee township, 1858, Congregational. - First school houses: Newbury township, town of Newbury, 1870, by ten citizens; Alma township, 1862, district No. 16; Washington township, 1868, district No. 9; Mill Creek township, in district No. 14, by subscription of settlers; Rock Creek township, 1873, district No. 23; Wilmington township, district No. 12; Farmer township, 1862, in district No. 8, by individual subscription; Wabaunsee township, in district No. 1, by Wabaunsee Town Company; Maple Hill township, June, 1872, district No. 29. - First business established: Alma township, saw and grist mill, G. Zwanziger; Newbury township, 1870, drug store, D. K. Alden; dry goods and groceries, Goldstandt & Cohen; Rock Creek township, 1874, groceries, William Brewer; Wilmington township, country store, H. D. Shepard; Farmer township, country store, Julius Knopt; Wabaunsee township, country store, D. H. Nesbit; Mission Creek township, 1876, country store, Co-operative Company, - First marriages: Alma township, T. Boydston and Margaret C. Johnston, April 19, 1868; Washington township, August Brasche and Wilhelmina Schultz, June 14, 1866; Mill Creek township, Joseph True and Catharine Kline, date not given; Rock Creek township, Robert Hastell and C. Consalus, 1872; Wilmington township, E. B. Murrell and Mary J. Harris, February, 1860; Farmer township, J. P. Gleich and Catharine Terrass, April 16, 1857; Wabaunsee township, E. C. D. Lines and Grace Thomas, June, 1857; Maple Hill township, S. S. Walkby and Ellen Taylor, December 21, 1871. - First post offices: Alma township, Alma, 1868, August Mayer, postmaster; Newbury township, Newbury, 1878, P. H. Moser, postmaster; Washington township, 1872, Henry Grimm, postmaster, and located at his farm house; Mill Creek township, Bismark, Henry Hess, postmaster; Rock Creek township, Chalk Mound, William Brewer, postmaster; Wilmington township, Wilmington, 1857, O. A. Sheldon, postmaster; Alma, John Speiker, postmaster, discontinued; Wabaunsee township, Wabaunsee, 1855, J. H. Nesbit, postmaster; Maple Hill township, 1860, Rufus Waterman, postmaster.

Population in 1860, 1,023; in 1870, 3,362; increase in ten years, 2,339; population in 1875, 4,649; increase in five years, 1,287; population in 1878, 5,386; increase in eighteen years, 4,363. Rural population, 4,578; city or town population, 808; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 85.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Alma 716 Farmer 251 Kaw 478
Mill Creek 365 Mission Creek 579 Maple Hill 313
Newbury 575 Rock Creek 238 Wilmington 808
Wabaunsee 716 Washington 347 ----- -----

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 15 per cent.; upland, 85 per cent.; forest (Government survey), 4 per cent.; prairie, 96 per cent. Average width of bottoms, one mile; general surface of the country, western and eastern portions, undulating; central part, bluffy; southeast of the centre, there is considerable level land.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts, one-quarter mile. Varieties: walnut, oak, hickory, cottonwood and sycamore. The numerous streams, which are tolerably well timbered, furnish sufficient fuel for immediate use, and general attention has not been given to artificial propagation. Some planting, however, has been done, the chief varieties being cottonwood and soft maple.

Principal Streams. - Mill creek, flowing from southwest to northeast. Mission creek, southwest to northeast. Dragoon creek, southeast. Rock creek, northeast to southwest, and numerous small streams. Mill creek is 36 miles long, and empties into the Kansas river, which latter stream forms the northern boundary of the county. The springs are few, but excellent; good well water reached at a depth of from 20 to 50 feet.

Coal. - Coal is supposed to underlie 25 per cent. of the area of the county, at an average depth below the surface of 15 feet, cropping out in the ravines. Thickness of veins, about 14 inches; quality, inferior. Borings have been made to the depth of 500 feet, but no paying veins found.

Building Stone, etc. - Blue and white limestone of superior quality is found in every township; some sandstone in Alma township. At Alma, at a depth of 600 feet, salt brine was found of 60° strength. A well was worked for a time, and salt of good quality made at the rate of 15 or 20 barrels a day. It is stated that, through mismanagement, the well got out of condition, so that it could not be worked. Another has been sunk - or was being sunk, at the date of our report - and it was expected that the work of manufacturing would soon recommence. Rock Creek township reports that brine has been found at a depth of 70 feet - strength not known.

Railroad Connections. - No railroads have been built in the county.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 514,560; taxable acres, 440,059; under cultivation, 52,430; cultivated to taxable acres, 11.91 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 6,282.75.

HEAVY YIELD. - Statement by W. Scofield, Alma:

Winter Wheat. - Joseph Deitman, living on Section 4, Township 10, Range 12, planted 8 acres of creek bottom with a new variety of white wheat, name not known; it was drilled in, using 1 1/4 bushels to the acre. The planting was done September 20, and the crop harvested June 29, producing 42 bushels to the acre. It was drilled north and south.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $656; poultry and eggs, $14,747.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 288,637 bushels, or an average of 27 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Number of cheese factories, 1; capital invested, not reported. Manufactured in 1875, 20,420 lbs.; in 1878, 17,771 lbs.; decrease, 2,649 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 242,412

lbs.; in 1878, 216,000 lbs.; decrease, 26,412 lbs. Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 3,470; in 1878, 4,021; increase, 551. Mules and asses, in 1877, 209; in 1878, 211; increase, 2. Milch cows, in 1877, 5,256; in 1878, 5,990; increase, 734. Other cattle, in 1877, 8,568; in 1878, 9,262; increase, 694. Sheep, in 1877, 2,398; in 1878, 3,064; increase, 666. Swine, in 1877, 4,922; in 1878, 9,528; increase, 4,606.

Sheep killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 65; value of sheep killed by dogs, $195.

STATEMENT showing the Acreage of Field Crops named from 1872 to 1878, inclusive.

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Winter Wheat 2,002.00 2,003.00 3,955.00 4,146.00 5,629.00 4,242.00 7,950.00
Rye 329.00 330.00 455.00 1,522.00 2,270.00 1,542.00 1,272.00
Spring Wheat 1,181.00 2,835.00 3,774.00 1,901.50 2,046.00 1,486.00 3,851.00
Corn 11,903.00 11,993.00 13,495.00 14,366.50 13,489.00 19,847.00 17,220.00
Barley 539.00 402.00 281.00 482.00 663.00 551.00 427.00
Oats 2,116.00 2,652.00 1,964.00 4,411.75 3,123.00 2,265.00 2,896.00
Buckwheat 40.00 110.00 15.00 13.25 5.00 16.00 112.00
Irish Potatoes 612.00 724.00 666.00 597.37 645.00 879.00 718.00
Sweet Potatoes 15.00 31.00 34.00 49.12 30.12 19.00 31.00
Sorghum 132.00 119.00 228.00 174.30 158.25 223.00 153.00
Castor Beans ----- 3.50 0.25 39.50 10.00 5.00 1.00
Cotton ----- ----- 0.25 2.00 ----- 4.00 -----
Flax ----- ----- 11.50 456.75 22.00 37.00 72.00
Hemp ----- 0.50 ----- ----- ----- ----- 1.00
Tobacco ----- ----- 16.00 2.00 0.25 3.75 2.00
Broom Corn ----- ----- 76.00 89.00 65.50 98.00 64.00
Millet and Hungarian 378.00 694.00 1,431.00 1,566.00 1,870.00 2,829.00 2,187.00
Timothy Meadow 3.00 3.00 7.00 9.00 3.75 8.50 42.00
Clover Meadow 17.00 17.00 18.00 1.50 ----- 49.00 8.00
Prairie Meadow 10,955.00 2,087.00 7,028.00 7,095.50 4,614.00 7,656.00 7,451.00
Timothy Pasture 4.00 ----- 2.00 1.00 ----- ----- 10.00
Clover Pasture 3.00 3.00 20.00 ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture 24.00 10.00 5.00 44.00 86.00 49.00 21.00
Prairie Pasture 2,148.00 2,148.00 1,551.00 4,329.00 3,204.00 4,338.00 7,941.00








Total 32,401.00 26,165.00 35,033.00 41,299.04 37,933.87 46,147.25 52,430.00

Increase in six years, 62 - per cent.
Average increase per annum, 10.33 - per cent.

RANK of Wabuansee County in the Crops named below, as to Acreage, and in Cultivated Acreage for the years mentioned in the foregoing table.

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.








Wheat 37 33 38 43 50 46 44
Corn 37 40 45 49 48 50 55
Total Acreage in all Crops 39 41 44 48 52 52 54








STATEMENT showing the Acres, Product and Value of Principal Crops for 1878, together with the Increase and Decrease as compared with 1877.

CROPS. ACRES IN
1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877.
PRODUCT
IN 1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877.
VALUE OF
PRODUCT
IN 1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877.







Winter Wheat - bu. 7,950.00 3,708.00 in. 174,900.00 145,206.00 in. $110,187.00 $81,977.70 in.
Rye - bu. 1,272.00 270.00 de. 30,528.00 1,230.00 in. 9,158.40 2,560.80 de.
Spring Wheat - bu. 3,851.00 2,365.00 in. 38,510.00 16,220.00 in. 18,099.70 267.37 in.
Corn - bu. 17,220.00 2,627.00 de. 671,580.00 221,535.00 de. 120,884.40 57,738.60 de.
Barley - bu. 427.00 124.00 de. 12,810.00 414.00 de. 5,764.50 739.38 in.
Oats - bu. 2,896.00 631.00 in. 118,736.00 25,871.00 in. 17,810.40 1,094.70 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 112.00 96.00 in. 2,016.00 1,776.00 in. 1,612.80 1,420.80 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 718.00 161.00 de. 43,080.00 8,781.00 de. 21,540.00 17,355.75 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 31.00 12.00 in. 2,945.00 1,045.00 in. 1,472.50 427.50 de.
Sorghum - gall. 153.00 70.00 de. 17,595.00 8,050.00 de. 8,797.50 4,025.00 de.
Castor Beans - bu. 1.00 4.00 de. 11.00 44.00 de. 13.75 41.25 de.
Cotton - lbs. ----- 4.00 de. ----- 680.00 de. ----- 68.00 de.
Flax - bu. 72.00 35.00 in. 864.00 457.00 in. 864.00 436.65 in.
Hemp - lbs. 1.00 1.00 in. 920.00 920.00 in. 55.20 55.20 in.
Tobacco - lbs. 2.00 1.75 de. 1,480.00 1,295.00 de. 148.00 129.50 de.
Broom Corn - lbs. 64.00 34.00 de. 51,200.00 27,200.00 de. 1,920.00 1,020.00 de.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 2,187.00 642.00 de. 6,561.00 511.50 de. 32,805.00 2,557.50 de.
Timothy Meadow - tons 42.00 33.50n. 42.00 33.50 in. 210.00 167.50 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 8.00 41.00 de. 12.00 31.50 de. 60.00 307.50 de.
Prairie Meadow - tons 7,451.00 205.00 de. 11,177.00 307.00 de. 39,119.50 1,074.50 de.
Timothy Pasture acres 10.00 10.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 21.00 28.00 de. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 7,941.00 3,603.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 52,430.00 6,282.75 in. ----- ----- $390,522.65 $1,146.27 de.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 9,979 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $90,926.08.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 46. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 10,189; pear, 325; peach, 46,281; plum, 1,295; cherry, 4,054. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 31,630; pear, 1,682; peach, 25,612; plum, 634; cherry, 4,712.

Herd Law. - Herd law not in force. A correspondent writes that public sentiment is "decidedly opposed to it as a whole, though there are some localities on the outskirts adjoining counties that have the law, and individuals in all localities, that are as decidedly in favor of it." In favor of the law it is uged that the cost of maintaining fences is immense, and that the poor man can not afford to farm if he has to fence; while its opponents say that it would be detrimental to the stock-growing interest - the largest interest of the county.

Fences. - Stone, 43,572 rods; cost, $71,893.80. Rail, 74,930 rods; cost, $104,902. Board, 17,779 rods; cost, $25,136.18. Wire, 45,093 rods; cost, $32,917.89. Hedge, 30,068 rods; cost, $18,040.80. Total rods of fence, 211,442; total cost, $252,890.67.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 37; pounds of honey, 268.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $39,520.

Manufactures. - Alma township: water and steam flouring mill, capital, $10,000. Mission Creek township: cheese factory.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $310,426; total assessed valuation of all property, $1,635,878; true valuation of all property, $2,726,463.33. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $32,702.04; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .02 -.

Newspaper History. - The Wabaunsee County Herald was first issued at Alma, April 1, 1869, by A. Sellers and G. W. Bertram, editors and proprietors. October 1, 1869, Bertram sold his interest to S. H. Fairfield, who, until March 15, 1871, was associated as one of its editors and proprietors, at which date he purchased Sellers' interest, became sole proprietor, and changed the name to the Alma Union. Rev. R. M. Tunnell was the principal editor until about December 1, 1871. May 1, 1872, Fairfield re-sold to Sellers, who changed the name to the Wabausee County News, under which name and management it has since been published. From April 1, 1869, the paper has been regularly published, without the omission of an issue. It is Republican in politics.

The Land Mark was first started at Eskridge, by E. H. Sanford, in the spring of 1871. It was continued at intervals until the spring of 1874 when the office and material were removed to Alma, and the paper issued regularly. About November 15, of that year, it was returned to Eskridge, and a short time thereafter the publication was discontinued. The press and material are now used in the publication of the St. Mary's (Pottawatomie Co.) Chief.

The Alma Blade was started about March 1, 1877, by R. Cunningham & Co. It was discontinued in February, 1878. The office was removed to Clifton, Cloud county, and the material is used in the publication of the Clifton Localist.

Schools. - Number of ormanized districts, 58; school population, 2,151; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $37.91; females, $30.45. School houses built during 1878, 3; frame, 1; stone, 2. Total number of school houses, 55; log, 3; frame, 29; stone, 23. Value of all school property, $39,704. Very little attention has been paid to the ornamentation of school grounds.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 2; membership, 103. Congregational: organizations, 3; membership, 246; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,000. Episcopal: membership, 6. Lutheran: organizations, 3; membership, 350; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $3,000. Methodist Episcopal: membership, 227; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $1,500. Roman Catholic: organizations, 2; membership, 600; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $1,200.

Transcribed from First Biennial Report of the State Board of Agriculture to the Legislature of the State of Kansas, for the Years 1877-8 embracing statistical exhibits, with diagrams of the agricultural, industrial, mercantile, and other interests of the state, together with a colored outline map of the state, and sectional maps, in colors, of each organized county, showing their relative size and location, railroads, towns, post offices, school houses, water powers, etc., etc. Topeka, Kansas: Kansas State Board of Agriculture. Rand, McNally & Co., Printers and Engravers, Chicago. 1878. Transcribed by Jeremy Shultz, January 2002.


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